Tuesday, 1 February 2011

One week down

Hello again folks.

Well it's been a week since I arrived in Canada and a week since my last blog, so I guess I should probably update on what's been happening. This could potentially be a long one, because I have been lazily avoiding making another entry.

Anyway, I want to dot point some facts you may not know about Canada and some of my thoughts.

- Public Transport is run by one government company called the TTC -Generally I've found the people running it (mainly bus drivers) are bastards! Not an actual reflection of Canadians though.

- Alcohol can only be purchased from one government owned store called the LCBO. It's taxed highly and is clearly pretty regulated. I've seen hardly any booze adverts either. The poor Canadians have to make sure they get their booze before it closes at 8pm and it's not open on Sundays! Now I know why I haven't seen any English people living here. No offy!

- Toronto FC season tickets are more expensive than Manchester United season tickets. The seats prices are up there too.

- Toronto Maple Leafs have the strongest following in the NHL and have probably been the most consistently shitty team over the last 10 years. They still sell out every match though.

Form of champions...

- They are allowed to beat the piss out of each other in Ice Hockey. Apparently there's a code of respect when doing it too...Who'd have known?

- Nightclubs, Bars and Pubs close at 2am. I'm usually only getting started by that point...

- You have to pay to receive calls as well as make them.

- Sales tax is not included in the advertised price, leading to some embarrassing moments of fiddling around for change.

- There are over 25kms of underground paths filled with shops and other things underneath Toronto.

- Nearly everything is bi-lingually labelled. (French/English)

- The only people you don't tip are McDonald's employees. 

- Canadian girls are pretty damn attractive. I'm putting it down to the fact that I've gotten used to Women plastering themselves in makeup to the point where they look like clowns. I'm looking at you UK.

- People are not afraid to talk to strangers in the street. It's nice to see people getting along so well in the middle of a city as bustling as Toronto. People in Sydney or London are generally to scared to even make eye contact.

- You cannot last more than 5 minutes without wearing gloves or a hat in the Canadian winter. I'm surprised body parts haven't started dropping off yet.

- The glass floor at the top of the CN tower is actually terrifying. I've never considered my scared of heights, but looking down from the third tallest building in the world as if nothing is supporting you is frightening.

- Poutine is as good as they say. When a Canadian asks if you've had Poutine and you reply with something along the lines of, "oh yeah I've had chips and gravy before" or "I went to lord of the fries once and had French-Canadian," do yourself a favour and punch yourself in the throat. When you eat real poutine, you'll know why I'm telling you this.

- Niagara Falls is amazing, but the corresponding town is basically Blackpool with the actual falls instead of Blackpool rock. 

I never thought I'd say this, but something makes Blackpool tower look good.

- Cheese in Canada is expensive. Not like 50c more than most places, but like $3 expensive than anywhere. I have failed to find a block of cheese (I'm talking shitty cheddar here) below the $5 mark. Don't even get me started on how much a small wedge of Bri costs...

- Most places require you pour your own coffee (with the exception of starbucks.)  Melbournites, don't expect any heart shapes in your froth because you'll be pouring your own bloody coffee. I find this bizarre considering how massive the cafĂ© culture is in Canada or Toronto.

Well this is all I can think of at the moment. I'm going to follow this up with my experience at Niagara falls and some more Toronto stuff.